Friday, September 24, 2010

A quick post on VP vs. KP in response to MBrandt


For some reason Stelek and Mike Brandt thinks that the debate is over in the VPs over KP since they posted on their blogs why they think that Victory Points are a better way of determining wins/losses than Kill Points are.


I will post why I think that KP are superior to VPs at a future date, and I will look up their posts to see what there arguments are, and why they favor VPs. I will take a good look at them and break down the VPs vs. KP, but for now I will talk about Mike Brandt's post found here:

Mikes comments in Green, and mine in Purple:

Mike Brandt; mvbrandt@gmail said...

I really, really don't understand WHY people feel KP, and emphasizing giant crap units that fail miserably at most missions but can in theory "cheese" KP wins, is a good thing.
I wonder why you think that giant units are "Crap" units? Let's take a look at Thunder Wolf Cavalry, are you trying to say that they are a crap unit? Nob Bikers? Sanguinary Guard? Seer Councils? (I could do this all night). There are a lot of expensive and small units that are anything but crap.

On the other side of the coin I could reverse this and say I wonder why you think that taking a lot of crap units that fail miserably at most missions other than Seize Ground is a good thing?

Restated, why would anyone WANT to encourage that kind of play? It sells less models, encourages (bad) list building techniques and tactics, and is generally disliked as much as liked.

I did not realize that tournament organizers are part of the marketing arm of GW to sell more models. Not only that, as I stated before you can play any MEQ army and make it another MEQ army no purchase necessary! Again, at the Nova Open you had a blue crimson fist army as blood angels, going against a red chaos army that was space wolves.

Since when does not building a MSU army constitute bad list building? There are many ways to win this game with many build of armies out of all of the codexes. Why is MSU the only acceptable build? And tactics? Are you kidding me? If you think that tactics constitutes rolling dice for your long fang missile launchers, and your razorbacks? Yes, that is some tactics! Try winning with a small elite army, and you will learn a ton of tactics. Try doing a lot more with a lot less, and you will learn to play the game much better than determining who will win the game by who wins the dice roll to go first.  

Ours can't be the ONLY part of the country where just about everyone, when rolling KP randomly for a pick-up game, shrugs and re-rolls. Every 40k rulebook edition has that shitty mission or two ... like Alpha level missions in general in the 4E book. Why the obscene angry attachment to KP?

I can ask you why the hatred of KP? There are a lot of areas that hate a lot of things. There are areas that are still playing 2nd edition 40k, does that make it the better game? There are people out there that fear change, and refuse to do it. There are others out there that find that certain missions do not give their armies and builds an advantage and they pressure people into dropping them. There are people (like me) that hate Dawn of War, but it is part of the game and I have to adapt or lose no matter what my personal preference is.

By the by, MSU takes advantage of the 5x5, which reverses the aim of KP. You have a MUCH easier time "hiding" or reserve-hiding the units nominated when you've got redundancy and tons more units. Someone with a 10 KP army can't really "hide" half his force and expect not to get tabled, whereas someone with 25 KP can much more readily suppress the use of / hide / reserve 5 of the 25. It's kind of an obvious thing, and plays out in-game over and over. I'm not even saying it's bad, but it certainly does the opposite of KP (which is reward low-KP armies and punish MSU spam).
            I agree the 5x5 kill point model still does not even the playing field for small KP armies.

So to sum up: I am not averse to modifying the basic missions, but a lot of the alternatives reward MSU armies, and punish small elite armies. There needs to be balance in the game and you can't reward one type of build over another.
How balanced missions should work:
In one example someone talked dismissively about is a 4 land raider army. If you took a 4 LR army against an 8 razorback spam army (You can throw in some long fangs too) I don't see why only the LR army should be at a huge disadvantage in both the objective missions and VP missions. The 4 LRs might be able to win in a strait up shoot out with the 8 RB, but there is no way that they can play whack-a-mole to kill all of those units. So in a perfect world with both KPs and objectives, the LR player says that they need to diversify their army more to win objective based missions, and the razorback spam army says to himself that he needs to consolidate his army more to make it durable for KP missions and in the end both of their armies are not on the extremes. The way it stands now with VPs and Table Quarter missions, the impetus is only coming from one side to get the LR army to diversify and not the MSU army to consolidate.


  1. Giant crap units do not automatically equal any squad over X points.

    It is any unit that is worth more than it offers. Which is a completely subjective statement and is even more subjective when considering the army list it is being played in.

    For example, Grey Knight Terminators are considered giant crap units in a pure Grey Hunter Army. However, when allied with Imperial Guard they take on a completely different meaning by offering a counter-attack unit that can take a solid hit. While also offering some mobile fire power in the form of psycannons.

    The same applies to my much beloved Furious Charging Assault Terminators in a Land Raider Crusader. At 1500 points taking the mandatory second squad makes them giant crap units. At 1750 points or above they take on a different meaning as generals can bring all the necessary support elements.

    And most tournaments are being run on the local level at the gaming store. Store owners want to sell products. So in some cases the TOs are apart of the marketing aspect of our hobby.

    Regardless of whether KPs are better than VPs. Your argument comes across as poorly thought out.


  2. I think that when Mike was talking about "Giant crap units" he was referring to any Deathstar army.

    I disagree that Deathstar armies that take large and expensive units are bad at most missions.

    They are at a disadvantage in some missions, and an advantage in others.

  3. Wait what!?! So we go from giant crap unit is a high cost unit to a giant crap unit is a deathstar army... as I said your argument is poorly thought out. How about you ask Mike to clarify before you start projecting your impression of what he said.


  4. And since your using small, elite armies in your post. Here is an example:

    And yes I see the Longfangs.


  5. "giant crap units that fail miserably at most missions but can in theory "cheese" KP wins"

    This is the argument I never understand. "Low KP armies are crap and have an unfair advantage in KP games" - so...if they're crap, how do they have an advantage, and if they have an advantage, how are they crap?

  6. The whole debate is actually quite silly. Kill points is one type of victory condition in the game (actually one of the three standard mission methods). Victory points is another way (that's in optional rules). Both have pro's and con's - and it's up to the TO to determine what he's going to have.

    It DOES greatly change the army builds. VP favors MSU - that's a fact. KP favors small hard to kill elite armies - that's a fact. The Nova format favors MSU's - fact.

    I still think that a good way to put armies/generals through the wringer is to have both types in the tournament - one mission with VP and one with KP.

  7. MoD, Chumby's list is a small elite army.

    He did well considering he was going up against MSU armies, so that is a testament to his skill. I looked for his batreps or just a brief post of what armies he faced and I could not find them.

    I hope to get in a game against him when I go to Rochester in Nov to play in Da Boyz GT.

  8. I'm not a fan of using vps to determine the overall primary goal of a mission. This harkens back to 3rd and 4th edition. Vps are good when used as a tie breaker.


  9. Chumby hasn't got any Battle Reports up. However, he played against Stelek. So you can find that battle report over on YTTHs. It would be the last NOVA Open battle report.

    Danny Internet may have a list of what armies Chumby played against.


  10. No batreps yet, sorry. I had been working on recreating stuff in Vassal but it's a huge PITA. I think I'll just write up summaries and put down the more crucial parts on Vassal.

    I played against Mech IG twice, SW twice, Orks and BA. I got slapped around by Stelek and Danny, the other SW game was as close as they get (tied all but the last) and the other 3 were fairly lopsided wins.

    I would consider my army elite and MSU. It's got lots of small units that all project long threat ranges and are dangerous to a wide variety of targets. What I give up in short term mobility (6" vs 12") I make up in firepower and long term mobility (6" every turn can add up since I can move and fire).

    With the whole KP vs VP thing, I disagree with Blackmoor for reasons I put up on YTTH yesterday. Basically, MSU armies have more options, more flexibility and just play better than KP denial armies and no amount of crutches and mission tweaks will fix it.

  11. It's a misnomer to class all small elite armies as a kill point denial system. Take this army of mine as an example...

    Skulltaker on juggernaught
    Herald on juggernaught

    6x Blood Crusher

    Soul Grinder
    Soul Grinder
    Daemon Prince

    15x Bloodletter
    15x Bloodletter

    That comes out to only nine kill points total for a 2k list. Each unit is a lead pipe and designed for close combat. They aren't hiding in the bushes hoping you dont see them until it's too late. I've beaten many MSU armies with this list playing a wide variety of missions. There are few armies that can go toe to toe with this army in close combat. It deep strikes then assaults.

    To say the term denial system implies an army is designed to keep away from the enemy an win by a small margin. Eldar used to be good at that back in 4ed when victory points were popular.


  12. Chumbalaya said: "Basically, MSU armies have more options, more flexibility and just play better than KP denial armies and no amount of crutches and mission tweaks will fix it."

    I agree with you that MSU armies are better than all of the other builds right now, but I do not want a crutch or mission tweaks to fix the inequity. What I would like to see are missions that do not make the problem even worse by taking out KP and substitute them with KP.

  13. I don't like KP from a game design perspective, it's a poor attempt at balance that doesn't help low KP armies much at all. I don't like VPs because playing points denial is always there and you focus less on the mission and we go back to "line up and kill 'em!" That's why I like 5th, objectives > VPs/KPs every time for me.

    I do like the 5x5 system because everybody has an equal number of points to score from killing, but the main focus stays on objectives.

  14. This issue didn't even become a biggie to me until DaBoyz GT primer last month. They have a mission called Devestation, where KP's are worth 20bp and VP's are worth 20bp.

    I play Nids and paired off against another Nid player. His list came up to 8kp @1850, mine was 13kp. At the end of the game, he had 4 models left on the table - 3 warriors and a lictor for about 200pts. I had my Tyrant, Dakkafex, Tervigon, Termagants, and Hive Guard left for about 850pts. He scored 7kp to my 6kp. As such, our final bp score was 25-20 which I think was a poor representation of the results of the game.

    At the end of the day, I'd like to see tournaments use one KP mission, 1 VP mission, and several objective missions to balance list building shenanigans. My personal preference leans towards VP's, but only because at the end of the day I feel those scores more accurately represent game results than KP's. This is based on every army being 2000vp's, but not every army being the same KP's.

  15. Good points, Allan. I think it is very telling that Mike says his local group simply ignored/re-rolled KP missions, and did THE SAME THING with Alpha missions in 4th. If you did the latter, all-Infiltrating Chaos armies were broken as hell. The same is true of MSU mech armies when you remove KP from the game. Mike's got a serious cognitive blind spot, there. His group evidently initially decided that certain missions were "shitty", and so ignored them and failed to learn why they were important. They've been doing the same thing for at least six years, so it's ingrained habit, I guess.